MAY Day committee secretary Eileen Podmore has expressed her delight at the record-breaking number of children in this year’s procession and the excellent street collection.

Eileen said the collection was vital to the success of the Royal May Day Festival, and she was very pleased with the amount which had been donated this year by the public.

She said: “The collection this year was much better than previous years.

“The street collectors have a done a really good job this year, and the buckets were a lot heavier than last year.

“The collection is crucial – last year it was £1,000 down on the year before. I know people don’t carry cash, but they know we have a street collection, and most people who are local prepare for that.

“Overall the day went much better than we thought it might, because when I looked at the weather forecast it was giving a bit of rain.

“It was very cold out there, and the children were really cold, but they were all real troopers.”

Eileen was also delighted by the number of children who took part in the hugely-popular procession through the town.

She added: “We have had more children in the procession this year than we have ever had – I reckon we have had at least 750 in it this year, compared with 650 last year.

“The children were beaming all the way round even though it was cold, and they were full of life. They were great, and everyone had a wonderful time.”

She thanked everyone for their continuing support for May Day, while reserving special thanks for local farmer Alan Norbury.

She said: “Alan is crucial to the success of the event – without him we would not have a May Day.”

She also divulged the secret of how she kept out the chill during the May Day procession.

“I walked with the procession with the village wedding, and kept warm with my fur-lined boots up to my knees, woolly tights, two thermal vests and five layers of costume,” she said.